|Publication number||US7111846 B1|
|Application number||US 10/720,480|
|Publication date||Sep 26, 2006|
|Filing date||Nov 25, 2003|
|Priority date||Nov 25, 2003|
|Publication number||10720480, 720480, US 7111846 B1, US 7111846B1, US-B1-7111846, US7111846 B1, US7111846B1|
|Inventors||Jeffrey Breslow, Robert Civettini, Terry Webb, Samuel C. Unsicker, Zarko Stambolic|
|Original Assignee||Big Monster Toys|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (5), Classifications (14), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This description relates to a target game.
Target games which provide a playing piece that is projected toward a target are generally known. In such a game, a player hits a target with a playing piece to score points.
Described is a game including a base unit, a target area, a launch area, and an electronic controller. The target area is attached to the base unit and has multiple target sections. The launch area is attached to the base and is configured for bouncing a playing piece into one of the multiple target sections. The electronic controller is configured to monitor the target sections and control game play.
Implementations may include one or more of the following features. For example, each target section may include an aperture for receiving the playing piece. The target area may include a series of concentric, upstanding, circular walls, where each circular wall defines one of the multiple target sections. The game also may include a detection system to determine when a playing piece is bounced into one of the multiple target sections. The detection system may be an optical detection system. The optical detection system may include an optical detector located near each aperture and an optical emitter arranged such that a beam emitted from the emitter is directed towards the optical detectors.
The launch area may be formed from a firm material and the playing piece formed from an elastic material. The launch area may be formed from an elastic material and the playing piece formed from a firm material.
The target area may be attached to the base unit such that the base unit and the target area form an obtuse angle.
Other features will be apparent from the following description, including the drawings, and from the claims.
The base 105 includes a surface 188 in front of the target area 110 to which the launch area 115 is attached. The launch area 115 includes an elastic material 117, such as rubber or nylon, stretched over a plastic ring 119 to form, in effect, a trampoline.
The game 100 also includes playing pieces 120. Playing pieces 120 are made of a firm material, such as metal or plastic, that can be bounced off the elastic launch area 115 into the target area 110.
The game 100 may be sized for table-top play such that, for example, the overall size is less than 2 feet long, less than 1 foot high, and less than 1 foot wide. In one implementation, the game 100 is approximately 12 inches long, approximately 5 inches wide, and approximately 6.5 inches high.
Referring particularly to
After a playing piece 120 strikes a target section 130, 132, or 134, the wall 121, 122, or 124 defining the target section guides the playing piece 120 into the corresponding aperture 140, 142, or 144. For instance, after a playing piece 120 strikes target section 132, the wall 122 guides the playing piece 120 into aperture 142.
Game 100 also includes a passage 150 and a tray 155 that are attached to the base 105 such that tray 155 engages passage 150. Passage 150 also is connected to the apertures 140, 142, and 144. As a result, playing pieces 120 that enter the apertures 140, 142, and 144 move through the passage 150 to the tray 155. The tray 155 holds playing pieces 120 during game play and may include a cover (not shown) to hold pieces securely while the game is not in use.
In the event that a playing piece misses a target section 130, 132, or 134, the playing piece 120 may fall back and strike surface 188. Surface 188 is oriented so that the playing piece that misses the target sections 130, 132, and 134 and falls back to strike the surface 188 will return to the tray area 155.
The game 100 also includes control buttons 165–185 located on the base 105. The control buttons 165–185 allow a player to control aspects of the game 100. The ON/GAME button 165 activates the game when initially pressed and is used subsequently to select one of several game modes (which are further described below) for play. Pressing the SCORE button 170 causes the score to be announced. Pressing the SOUND button 175 adjusts the speaker volume. Pressing the OFF button 180 turns the game off. Pressing the RESET button 185 erases the game's memory of any best scores and times (described below).
The game 100 further includes a visual feedback mechanism in the form of a light 190 (or, in other implementations, an alphanumeric display) mounted at the top of the target area 110. Referring also to
As shown in
When the SOUND button 175 is selected (step 625), the controller 565 cycles to the next volume level (step 630). The volume levels include, for example, high, low, and off.
When the SCORE button 170 is selected (step 635), the controller causes the score of the most recent game played to be announced by speaker 200 (step 640).
When the ON/GAME button 165 is selected (step 645), the controller 565 cycles to the next game mode (650). Game 100 includes four game modes, a 30-SECOND BLITZ game mode, a 25-POINT RUSH game mode, a BULLS-EYE ACE game mode, and a PRACTICE game mode. The objective of the 30-SECOND BLITZ game mode is to score the most points in a predetermined time period, e.g. 30 seconds. The objective of the 25-POINT RUSH game mode is to score twenty-five points in the least amount of time. The objective of the BULLS-EYE ACE game mode is to score the most bulls-eyes by hitting the center target section 130 before missing the center target section 130 a set number of times, e.g. ten times. Lastly, the PRACTICE game mode allows a player to bounce playing pieces 120 at the target area 110 with no limits on time, number of balls, or misses.
When an optical detector 325, 330, or 335 signals to controller 565 that a playing piece 120 has passed through an aperture 140, 142, or 144 (step 655), then a game according to the presently selected game mode is initiated (step 660).
All of the game modes may incorporate music, voice, or other sounds from the speaker 200, flashes from the light 190, or a display of time or score from the alphanumeric display (not shown).
A number of implementations have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made. For example, sensors other than optical sensors (e.g., magnetic or mechanical sensors) may be used to detect passage of a playing piece 120 through an aperture 140, 142, or 144.
Also, in other implementations, the launch area 115 may be made of a firm material, such as plastic or metal, and the playing pieces 120 may be made of an elastic material, such as rubber, such that the elastic playing pieces 120 bounce off the firm launch area 115 into the target area 110.
Other game sizes may be used. For instance, larger versions may be implemented for play at, for example, an amusement park.
Some implementations also may allow one game unit to be electronically connected to other game units for multiple players to play simultaneously.
Other implementations are within the scope of the following claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||273/342, 273/371, 273/352|
|Cooperative Classification||A63F7/249, A63F2009/0265, A63F7/0058, A63F2250/18, A63F9/02, G07F17/3297, A63F2007/0011|
|European Classification||G07F17/32P10, A63F9/02, A63F7/00E|
|Nov 25, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BIG MONSTER TOYS, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BRESLOW, JEFFREY;CIVETTINI, ROBERT;WEBB, TERRY;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:014745/0445;SIGNING DATES FROM 20031107 TO 20031117
|Mar 16, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|May 9, 2014||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Sep 26, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Nov 18, 2014||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20140926